Posted by ESC on April 15, 2001
In Reply to: Basket case posted by Bernard Brouder on April 15, 2001
: basket case meaning a person (soldier?) who has lost four limbs. When was this expression used (as recorded) for the first time? Most likely it was after a war, which war? Thank you in advance for your help
BASKET CASE - " A person too impaired to function. This term dates from World War I, when it meant a soldier who had lost all four limbs and therefore had to be carried off the field in a litter, or 'basket.' Later it was transferred to an emotionally or mentally unstable person. It is also occasionally used for something that fails to function." From "Fighting Words: From War, Rebellion, and other Combative Capers" by Christine Ammer (NTC Publishing Group, Chicago, Ill., 1989, 1999).
In government we call them "managers."